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Heater Problems and Possible Fixes

When your furnace won't start on a chilly day, it's easy to worry about the need for an HVAC service call. However, it's helpful to remember that you can take some steps to troubleshoot first. Common issues affecting the operation of a furnace can include fuel, electricity and the thermostat. Checking these points may save you the trouble and expense of heating repair.

Steps to Troubleshoot Your Furnace

You've probably already worked with your thermostat to attempt to start your furnace. Verify the settings again, making sure that heat is selected. Double check the temperature setting so that the selection is greater than the current room temperature. If settings are already correct, you may need to verify that the unit has a good battery.

An interruption in the power or fuel supply to your furnace can also prevent it from lighting. Proceed with the following steps:

  • Check to see if the pilot is lit, and relight if it is off.
  • If an automatic pilot won't relight, you need to have a professional service the system. Don't tamper with the component.
  • Make sure that electrical connections and switches are in proper position.
  • Check the fuel valve to be sure that an interruption in the supply hasn't occurred. Test another gas appliance in the home to verify that the utility company hasn't had an outage.
  • Inspect your fuse box as well. If your pilot is still out or if you still can't get the system to operate, you may want to try a system reboot.

Rebooting Your Furnace

You may be familiar with the concept of rebooting computer equipment. The same process can help in dealing with a stubborn furnace. Set your thermostat so that there isn't a call for heat. This means that the temperature setting should be lower than the registered room temperature on the thermostat. Next, disconnect power to your furnace. You can accomplish this by unplugging the unit or by turning off the appropriate switch at the fuse box. Allow the system to remain off for at least 30 seconds before turning the power to the unit back on. Return to the thermostat and raise the heat setting above the room temperature, creating a call for heat. You can repeat this step a couple of times, but some systems will create an automatic lockout for several hours after numerous failed attempts. Check your owner's manual for error codes and more specific information about your system.

Calling for Heating Repair

Sensors and electronic components may also be at the root of the problem. You will need to have an HVAC professional assist if your troubleshooting steps haven't resolved the issue, "Why won't my furnace ignite?" While many do-it-yourselfers attempt to work with the internal components of heating equipment, your system's use of combustible materials to heat your home makes it important to defer to a professional for assistance. Heating fires are the second leading cause of house fires on an annual basis, and many of these instances begin at the heating source. Additionally, carbon monoxide can build if sensors and safety equipment are compromised. The professionals at Mike Brummitt Heating & Cooling are trained to correctly service your comfort system, ensuring proper operation and safety. You can contact our Henderson, SC, team for service.

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